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Orange County

Rush-Hour Toll Hikes Approved

August 15, 2003|Dan Weikel | Times Staff Writer

Tolls will increase 25 cents and 50 cents on Orange County's largest toll-road network during the morning and evening rush hours.

The boards of directors for the Transportation Corridor Agencies on Thursday approved the rate hikes, which go into effect Oct. 5 for the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill-Eastern toll roads.

The rate for cash-paying motorists on the San Joaquin Hills road will increase from $3 to $3.50 at the main toll plaza. Tolls for drivers using FasTrak will rise from $2.75 to $3. FasTrak is an electronic billing system that relies on dash- or window-mounted transponders.

On the Foothill-Eastern system, which includes a short stretch of California 133, tolls will increase from $1.75 to $2 for cash-paying drivers at the Tomato Springs toll plaza. FasTrak rates will rise from $1.50 to $1.75.

The new rates will be charged to northbound motorists on the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill-Eastern tollways on weekdays between 7 and 9 a.m. and southbound drivers between 4 and 7 p.m. Rates will not increase at other toll booths.

TCA officials say the rate hikes will generate about $1.3 million a year for the San Joaquin Hills and about $1.9 million a year for the Foothill-Eastern. The San Joaquin Hills toll road has been plagued by lower-than-expected traffic and revenue.

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